The rescue efforts to find Golden Globe Race (GGR) skipper Abhilash Tomy who was dismasted in extremely rough weather and sea condition in the Indian ocean approximately 1900 nautical miles from Perth in Australia are underway in the south Indian ocean. Commander Tomy, a serving Indian Navy officer, representing India in the Golden Globe Race 2018 (GGR) on an indigenously built sailing vessel ‘Thuriya’ suffered a back injury Friday after the yacht was dismasted.
The rescue efforts are led by the Australian defence forces and the Indian Navy has also dispatched stealth frigate INS Satpura to find the officer. “All out efforts are being made to rescue Abhilash Tomy. Indian Naval stealth Frigate, INS Satpura operating in the Indian Ocean has been dispatched for the rescue mission,” PTI quoted a Defence spokesman as saying.
— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) September 22, 2018
Tomy was in 3rd position and has sailed over 10,500 nautical miles in the last 84 days, since the commencement of the race on July 1. According to a report issued from the Les Sables d’Olonne, France Friday night, the 70-knot winds and 14 metre high seas have left the yachts of Indian Navy’s Tomy and Ireland’s Gregor McGuckin dismasted, and have twice knocked down the yacht of second-placed Dutchman Mark Slats, PTI reported.
Commander Abhilash Tomy is no stranger to such a journey. He had circumnavigated the globe non-stop and unassisted in a sailing boat in 2013 to become the first Indian to achieve the feat. According to goldengloberace.com, Tomy has also represented India in the 2011 Cape Town Rio race, the Spanish copa del Rey race in 2014 and the Korean cup.
The Kirti Chakra awardee has also been bestowed with the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure award.
‘Thuriya’ is the boat, which he is using in the race. It is a replica of ‘Suhaili’, except that fibre glass and steel have been used to make it. “Very few people know that ‘Suhaili’ was built using wood logs confiscated by the Customs right here in Colaba (Mumbai). That is our contribution to the global maritime history,” Tomy had said in 2017.
To mark its golden jubilee, a new GGR, covering 30,000 miles and having thirty participants, was flagged off on July 1, 2018. Commander Abhilash Tomy of the Indian Navy is the only Indian who was invited to take part in it.
The biggest challenge of GGR participants is navigation without technology such as the GPS. They rely on the age-old celestial markers; the stars, sun and the moon — and a compass to determine the location and chart the route ahead. These practices were part of the sailors during the initial phase of human expedition of the sea.